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Mar 12, 2011 6:00pm EST
. anna corn is now in sendai. that's the scene of the devastation. we're going to be checking in with her throughout the next several hours. much more of the breaks news coverage coming up here in "the situation room." we're america's natural gas. and here's what we did today in homes all across america: we created the electricity that powered the alarm clocks and brewed the coffee. we heated the bathwater and gave kelly a cleaner ride to school. cooked the cube steaks and steamed the veggies. entertained dad, and mom, and a neighbor or two. kept watch on the house when they slept. and tomorrow we could do even more. we're cleaner, domestic, abundant and ready now. we're america's natural gas. the smarter power today. learn more at >>> it's just after 8:00 a.m. sunday morning in japan. we're getting in a new daylight image of a nation pummeled and paralyzed by the monster earthquake. a huge refinery fire just one small slice of the crisis and the very real danger in the quake zone right now. let's bring in cnn's anna coren. she's in sendai, the scene of so much devastation as you
Mar 13, 2011 3:00am EDT
. >> i'm nationalie alan in cnn. it is sun afternoon in sendai, japan, where 48 hours ago the biggest earthquake ever recorded in japan struck just offshore. the japanese meet logical society has upgraded that quake to a magnitude of 9.0, while the u.s. geological survey has maintained a rating of 8.9. the city's 1 million people, and countless towns and vimmages to the north were devastated by the subsequent tsunami that crashed over the coastline and tore through everything in its path. while that danger has passed, another has emerged. at this hour, we are tracking a new and extremely serious concern. >> japanese nuclear official says there is a possibility just a possibility, that there could be a meltdown at one of the reactors at the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant. a second reactor is also in trouble, but japan's ambassador to the u.s. has told cnn there is no evidence that a meltdown is under way. >> estimated 80,000 people live within ten kilometers of the plant, six miles, all of them have evacuated. another 180,000 people live up to 20 kilometers from the plant, they are be
Mar 13, 2011 9:00pm EDT
with two emergencies going on now at the same time. trying to deal in the area around sendai and to the north of sendai in the northeast of japan with the aftermath from friday's earthquake and tsunami. the death toll stands right now at 1,600 but that is expected to rise. one official in the north saying he expects the death toll to be in the tens of thousands. the other emergency going on at two separate nuclear plants in the area around foukushima to te south of where i am, two emergency situations at nuclear plants. authorities believe there has been at least -- they believe there has been a meltdown in one of the reactors at one of the plants, but it is simply too hot at this point for them to be able to confirm that. they're working on cooling it down by pumping in sea water, a very unusual development. we'll have a lot about that in the two hours that we're broadcasting ahead. they've evacuated an area of some 20 kilometers, about 12 miles, around one of those plants in fukushima. evacuated some 200,000 people, 160 people so far have been exposed to some level of radia
Mar 12, 2011 7:00pm EST
. cnn's anna coren is in sendai, a port city closest to the quake's epicenter. a city of about 1 million people, it was devastated, though, by the tsunami. anna is joining us now. anna, tell us about these two most recent aftershocks that you've just experienced. >> reporter: wolf, we have experienced two major aftershocks in the last couple of hours to the point where everything is moving. obviously, we're standing outside a building. but we're seeing our television equipment, it was moving, the trees were moving, the earlier one, i was actually inside the building. and that was far more distressing because you're feeling the building sway from side to side. and the lines were moving as well. as we mentioned, this is a country that is used to earthquakes and used to aftershocks. but what has devastate this had place so much, particularly sendai and the northeast of japan, is that massive tsunami. that ten-meter wave that hit the coast and engulfed absolutely everything in its wake. >> how close, anna, have you been able to get to the real devastation there because the images that we've
Mar 13, 2011 4:00am EDT
now go up to sendai it seems another natural threat there. martin savidge, you're there. what can you tell us? >> reporter: i'm actually right now we can tell you there have been another round of tsunami warnings, at least that's what's being announced by the fire departments that have been going through the streets. sirens have been sounded and loud hailers being used to warn people to get to high ground. and we are on high ground, actually near an elementary school looking out on the ocean here. and everything looks idyllic. but of course that is no real indication of what threat there may be. we are on high ground, so that is for certain. but we look out over a sea of absolute destruction in the low area. and that of course was from the original tsunami that came rolling in on friday. but again, they have been warning people, going through the streets, using sirens. we were with a search-and-rescue team at the time they immediately stopped. hey got to their vehicles and they ran off with their sirens wailing. so right now people are nervously keeping an eye on the ocean. and wonder
Mar 13, 2011 10:00pm EDT
, earthquake in the area around sendai and north of sendai. also, an ongoing emergency in the area of fukushima, to the south of sendai, two nuclear power plants and two nuclear reactors in one of those plants, a planned could fukushima diaoxi. they're planning on pumping in sea water. a very unusual maneuver, a desperate maneuver, it's fair to say. we will have the latest on that. they already evacuated an area 10 kilometers, 12 miles around the fukushima plants. a number of people have already tested positive. some 160 people have tested positive for some form of ra radiation. we have been getting in new videos of when the tsunami hit. you saw videos of when it hit thailand, but we are seeing more videos of this event carried live on television. in addition to those live images, just today in the last 48 hours, we're getting a number of new videos as well. i want to show you three of them and will not talk over them. i want to show you them as the people in those towns experienced them in the town along the coast. let's watch the first one. >> unbelievable images of the waves as they hit the
Mar 16, 2011 11:35pm PDT
prompted expatriates and japanese alike to crowd airports and roads looking for ways out. many left sendai, north of the damaged nuclear plant. abc news' clarissa ward reports from osaka japan, about 360 miles southwest of the plant. >> reporter: we've come down to the southern city of osaka, it's about 240 miles south of tokyo. the reason we've come here, of course, is because of that increasingly dicey situation at the nuclear plant in fukushima. the japanese military is now dumping water literally into a hole in the roof of reactor number three, caused by an explosion. and they were spraying water on reactor number four. they tried yesterday and had to abort due to high levels of radiation. all in an attempt to cool down the radioactive rods that are now fully exposed. all day long, the last line of defense against a full-on nuclear catastrophe has been a small group of employees, working deep inside the plant, armed with flashlights and hoses. it would be hard to describe how alarming this is right now, an american official told abc news. he said, everyone recognizes this is a suicide
Mar 12, 2011 5:30pm PST
, this is the big one. >> reporter: this is what the tsunami looked like from inside the airport at sendai. the terrified passengers watched and waited. the japanese minister got a look at the devastation and the tsunami's raw power. engaged by the amount of real estate that it swallowed. once a bustling modern city, those yellow circles are key government buildings and hospitals. this is what it looks like now. a town replaced by a a toxic brew of mud, oil and debris. here alone, nearly 10,000 people remain unaccounted for. fires from ruptured gas and oil lines continue to burn out of control. the painful irony here is that water is everywhere, but at least a million homes have gone without any drinking water since the quake struck. millions don't have any power either. roads and bridges that need repair crews to fix it, remain large largely unpassable. one barrier after another. rescuers and aid workers have to contend with as the flood of international assistance begins to crawl to where it is needed most. there is late word tonight that there is a second emergency in the second reactor
Mar 14, 2011 6:30pm PDT
¿qué tal? transmi transmitir desde sesendai, saludamos a josé díaz-balart. >> lo que pasa en japón no puede comprender es que vive la peor crisis. más de 4.000 muertos confirmados superior a los 100 mil damnificados. ha forzado la evacuación de cerca de 200.000 personas. millón y medio de personas están sin agua y 2 millones y medio sin luz. en medio de tanto desastre, de santo sufrimiento, muerte y destrucción con el temor del nuevo sismo se encuentra un equipo periodístico de telemundo con nuestro corresponsal en el lugar de los hechos, el único corresponsal de la televisión hispana en sendai, japón, enrique acevedo >> inicio continúa para japón. solamente en lo que va de un día, pasó un terremoto en el trabajo de los trabajos. entre ellos vidas humanas nuclear, fukushima en dónde se efectúan. en una de las provincias de sendai, a unos cuantos km.s. están a mis espaldas ba jajando víveres. llevan cajas con primeros auxilios para la población afectada la policía se encuentra aquí, cuerpos de bomberos que puedan entrar por el agua que entró, vemos vehículos vo
Mar 12, 2011 6:30pm EST
looked like from inside the airport at sendai. the japanese minister got a look at the join's raw power. gauged by the amount of real estate that it swallowed. once a modern city, those yellow buildings are key buildings and hospitals. this is what it looks like now. a toxic brew of mud, oil and debris. more than half the population, nearly 10,000 people remain unaccounted for. fires from ruptured gas and oil lines continue to burnout of control. painful irony here is that water is everywhere but at least one million homes have gone without drinking water since the quake struck. roads and bridges remain largely unpassable. one barrier after another. rescuers and aid workers have to contend with as the flood of internation international aa international aastance begin to crawl to where it is needed most. >> reporter: there is word there is a second emergency in the second reactor. it seems to be that it is more of a problem with the cool ant malfunctions again. we don't know how that will effect evacuations underway there. >> thank you very much. we want to talk more about that. japanese
Mar 11, 2011 4:00am EST
, kyong, sendai, that's a city of 1 million people. that's where the quake struck, 100 meters from sendai where we saw the massive wave just take out the city. i know we're also talking about a rural area, but we witnessed pictures of people standing either on top of their cars or on the side of the highway witnessing the wall of water hitting toward them. we know, kyong, that the death toll is going to rise. >> just watching the local newscast we're hearing a wide variety of number of casualties we're going with. we simply can't confirm it at this point, but i can tell you many people are predicting and already reporting that the casualty figures are quite a bit higher than the ones we have been reporting on our air. and just looking at that wall come through that town, it is not as populated as tokyo, but it is a populated city. it is a small city known as a fishing community. the quake hit right before 3:00, around 2:40, 2:50. if you're fishing and you make your living at the docks, it is going to be very busy there. even if there is a tsunami warning, there wasn't that much time to ev
Mar 13, 2011 12:00am EST
of minamisanriku, north of sendai and extremely badly hit. we have heard local media reports. half the residents are missing. it's a town that did have 18,000 citizens. so that would mean that about 9,500 people stil missing. a look how badly this area is damaged. where we're standing here is on the edge of town. you can see a couple of houses still standing, because we're about 3. 3 kilometers away from the sea. that's almost two miles from the coastline. so you can have a sense there of just how strong this tsunami was, to be able to destroy houses, completely to this level. there's boats that have ridden on the tsunami and come all the way up here. behind one of the houses still standing there's a huge truck carried on the wave all the way up this far as well, 3.3 kilometers. there were 18,000 residents here. we spoke to a couple of them that have come back to see what's left of their homes and try to start the impossible cleanup. but they say that they ran when they heard the tsunami warning. one woman said she knows some of her neighbors stayed in their homes when there was the tsunami warn
Mar 13, 2011 6:00pm EDT
the earthquake happened, sendai. our martin savage was there and saw the devastation up close. he joins us now. martin, unbelievable. what are you seeing? >> reporter: it's unbelievable don. i've seen, unfortunately, a lot of disasters in the past, and it's just staggering. as you come into town, especially in the area of the debris field, and this is a massive city, it's a very, very large place, and as you start to drive in there, immediately sensory overload begins. you go, oh, my god, look at that. and then you turn your head and say, oh, my god, look at that. and then look at this. and as you progress down the road it becomes greater and greater and greater and the sense of overwhelming disaster that struck here in a matter of seconds. we're still a come of miles away interest the ocean and there's just total destruction around us here. cameras and words aren't doing justice to this. we had a very difficult time even getting into sendai yesterday. we found some searchers that were working yesterday. take a look at our story because it changes as it goes on. take a look. how do you begin t
Mar 12, 2011 11:00pm EST
neighborhood that stood there just, you know, a few hours earlier completely gone. just swept away. the sendai airport was charred around the outer rim. flames were flung several kilometers away from the runways. cars were, you know, und water, submerged. and there were a few cars running on some streets but there was very little sign of life. at least from the distance we saw from up above. >> are the rescue teams getting there? do we know if these search-and-rescue teams are already in place? are they still sort of getting there on the way? not only the japanese military but from around the world? >> well, i can't speak specifically as to which teams have already reached the areas but we did see some helicopters searching even lower than we were for survivors. the people at the evacuation sent acenter where we were at yesterday at fukushima prefecture said they wanted to get out to the coastal areas where they said about 80 homes were completely ruined and swept away. but just the kngs were still too difficult to make it through. and other officials have dissuaded them from doing so for thei
Mar 16, 2011 12:30am PDT
and frequent power ounls have left people in the dark. in sendai, survivors are having to cope with the aftershocks and exposure to radiation. >> amidst the devastation and destruction, there is a new concern and it is carried with a rain that started falling on sendai. because hidden in these drops could soon be another danger. tiny particles blown from the nuclear disaster unfolding 60 miles to the south of here. it is as if this place has not been battled enough, first the earthquake, then the tsunami that swept through here and now there may be something new to fear. radiation. unlike the previous disasters, you could see it or hear it coming. the tsunami you could hear. it did all of this. it even dumped a cargo ship high and dry on the key side. and people fear if more invisible radiation is released and the wind blows this way, the rain could make it fall here. so the tsunami evacuees whose homes were damaged or destroyed are now sheltering inside. those at sendai's port are in this high school. an army commander took her children and fled it is a waves approached. she s
Mar 13, 2011 5:00am EDT
. lots of people can't find food, certainly not in sendai, in tokyo even, what is the government doing to get basics out to survivors? >> we are extending emergency food or drink assistance to the affected areas. i know there are some shortages of foods in the stores, but the situation for example in tokyo, it is not the worst situation. we are conducting almost a normal life even though there are some problems that we have been encountering. >> mr. shikatawa, from the prime minister's office, thank you very much. >> anna coren is relatively near sendai. she will give us a sense where she is. you are one of the only people there, right, anna? >> that's right. seconds ago a couple walked past me. we have not seen people for several hours. they have come to their home, one of the structures behind me, it is quite dark so we can't visually show you. they came to their house to get supplies and walked out with a couple of bat fulls of foods. water and food is in short supply so if they have it in their home they are going to come back to get it. this is a scene of complete and utter devast
Mar 14, 2011 5:00am EDT
the hardest hit cities and towns. sendai is close to the quake's epicenter. kesennuma still closer. worth noting here, fukushima, where the two power plants have been damaged. authorities have released radioactive steam to release pressure. behind the devastation is the reality that life as people knew it is forever changed. paula han congress joins us now from accept die. we understand you just returned from visiting a hospital there. >> reporter: i'm in ishinamaki, north of sendai. we have had local news reports suggesting 2,000 bodies have been found in these bodyies, minamisanriku where we visited was completely wiped out. we couldn't get next to the beach because there was a tsunami alert. here we are trying to get to the peninsula itself to see how devastating the damage is. it is very difficult. it is pretty much cut off at this point. we understand many rescue teams are relying heavily on helicopters. they have to get to these particularly bad hit areas by air because by roads it is not possible. the coastal road is pretty much inaccessible. you have to come inland and head out to
Mar 11, 2011 4:00am PST
the coast guard is standing by. a powerful quake was centered around the area of sendai. but it rocked buildings in tokyo, hundreds of miles away. akiko fujita joins us from tokyo this morning. akiko, what is the latest? >> reporter: we are getting new numbers. we now know there are 18 people confirmed dead. that's from our partner out here, nhk. 18 people confirmed dead. and 60 people injured in tokyo alone. keep in mind that tokyo is hours away from the epicenter. 60 people injured in tokyo. we're not getting numbers out of northern japan where the epicenter was. but the numbers expected to be much larger there. 44 fires recorded in 6 prefectures in japan. and the images, just incredible. we just saw, as we were tracking our partner, nhk, out here, video out of sendai airport. that's a major city near the epicenter. the waves, water, just flooded out there. and tsunami warnings in effect throughout that region. >> akiko, in addition to being our abc correspondent. you lived through this earthquake. you were there at work. this happened in the middle of a work day, on friday afternoon
Mar 13, 2011 5:30pm PDT
this was. of course, we know the wrath of that tsunami was felt particularly hard in sendai, to the north of here. and for so many days now, it was impossible to get there. tonight, clarissa ward is there, surveying the damage, where the water at one point had reached tree tops. >> reporter: they are scenes playing out up and down hundreds of miles of japan's coastline. we visited one of the hardest-hit areas, the city of sendai. just two days ago, this was a thriving port. take a look at sendai's shoreline before the quake. and today, a wasteland. the air is thick with this acrid smoke that's coming from that refinery over there that's still burning. this tsunami took everything out in its path, from cars, which are now strewn like toys, to traffic lights. for many, the devastation was almost too much to bear. "words fail me, because there is nothing here," this woman says. "everything is gone." we've been just approached by a rescue worker who asked to be very careful when shooting this devastation here behind me. he said there are still a lot of dead bodies in those cars. and while the
Mar 14, 2011 5:00pm EDT
operation as well as the unfolding nuclear emergency. a report now from sendai. a breakdown of where you are and what you've been seeing. >> reporter: as you say, we are in sendai which is in the east of japan. spending time a little bit further north and that's where the real devastation we have seen, and houses, neighborhoods, suburbs completely, completely destroyed. we spent time with a military team that went from house to house trying to see if there were any survivors, but it became apparent very quickly that they were there to retrieve the bodies. house after house, they were finding people, and these were the elderly, isha. people not able to get out in town. from the moment that the quake struck the residents of ishinnomaki had less han half an hour to get to higher ground and it turns out so many of the elderly weren't able to get out of their homes in time. >> anna, talk to me about the challenges, those involved sear search-and-rescue operation that they are dealing with. >> reporter: a vast challenge. such a vast area. talking about so much coastline. this collected everyth
Mar 12, 2011 8:00pm EST
, as the ocean had broken through multiple protective seawalls and the sendai airport was charred around the outer rim. planes were flung several kilometers away from the runways, cars were underwater, submerged. there were a few cars running on streets, but there was very little sign of life, at least from the distance we saw, up above. >> are the rescue teams getting there? do we know if these search and rescue teams are already in place, or are they still sort of getting there on the way? not only the japanese military, but have around the world? >> well, i can't speak specifically as to which teams have already reached the areas, but we did see some helicopters searching, even lower than we were, for survivors. the people at the evacuation center that we were at yesterday, they said they wanted to get out to the coastal areas where they said about 80 homes were completely ruined and swept away. but just the conditions were still too difficult to make it through. and other officials have dissuaded them from doing so, for their own safety. >> what does it feel like, these aftershocks?
Mar 13, 2011 10:00am EDT
one of the hardest hit cities in japan. the city of sendai is completely unrecognizable after the tsunami. obliterated homes, buildings, cars, everything in its path. as survivors try to comprehend the damage around them, they're also desperately searching for their missing loved ones. nbc's ian williams is in sendai with the firsthand look at the disaster. good morning to you. >> good morning to you. it's difficult to grasp the sheer magnitude of this disaster even after spending a day in one of the worst hit areas. the devastated port city of sendai. >> reporter: re t remains difficult to reach the worst affected areas so, we traveled adds far north as a helicopter could take us. then a further two-hour drive brought us to sendai, the closest city of the epicenter of friday's huge quake. and this. the muddied and shattered remains of homes and vehicles swept away by a tsunami that here reached around two miles inland, destroying just about everything in its path. one of the worst affected areas, this industrial and housing zone around the airport. >> this is the parking lot
Mar 14, 2011 3:00am EDT
we can find. in sendai, i'm guessing is the same. we passed a supermarket that had a tremendously long queue there must have been about a thousand people in that queue just to get into the supermarket. looking through the window, most of the shelves were empty anyway. it doesn't appear as though stocks are being brought to this area very quickly. obviously the focus is finding people still alive in the rubble. for those not directly affected by this disaster, they're certainly having the effect of not being able to find food and water easily. andrew? >> okay, paul lab, thank you very much for that. paula hancocks joining us from ishinomaki, one of the hardest hit towns there. you get close to the waterfront, access is virtually impossible to get through to. the rescue crews still going in by helicopter. >>> meanwhile, the japanese prime minister says that this is his country's worst crisis since the second world war. naoto kan is calling for the japanese to pull together. >> translator: please, i ask each one of you please have such determine to deepen your bond with your family m
Mar 15, 2011 1:00am EDT
and rescue operations are under way. we're in the port of sendai where there's destruction all around. a developing nuclear scare that seems to be getting more serious by the hour. i want to bring you up to date with satellite imagery which shows the problem, new explosion. the third at the fukushima daiichi power station south of here. this is the power station we've been watching closely for the last several days. the new explosion happened in the number two reactor. it is a very ominous development. it may have damaged the reactor's containment vessel. units one and three, you may remember, had explosions on saturday as well as yesterday morning local time. 11 people were injured yesterday. so now there are three overheating reactors to be concerned about. all three now have been rocked by explosions. all three are in danger of melting down completely. the possible outcome, possible outcome is a three mile island situation three mild island times three. the nightmare scenario, obviously, is chernobyl times three. now compounding the human disaster, all due, of course, to the tsunam
Mar 15, 2011 5:00am EDT
an agonizing wait for news of missing family and friends. but amid the ruins of sendai, people who know they're lucky to be alive and be together. >> reporter: in a tsunami disaster this massive -- she is learning the small gestures matter most. food and water she says from someone she barely knows. sato lost everything in the tsunami that hit sendai. she learned from these before and after satellite images in the newspaper that her home was destroyed. >> i never imagined a tsunami could do this, she says, saying she lives inland about two miles from the ocean. she is one of the hundreds of new residents of shitiko elementary school. only three weeks old, her father says he's numb and can't seem to put her down. every since he and his wife fled from the water and debris that flattened their town. i have to protect my children, says this new dad. the only thing i can think, i have to protect my children. children blissfully unable to understand, others clearly do. >> there are so many victims in this tsunami. this is just one converted classroom in this school. to my right, there are very eld
Mar 12, 2011 8:00am EST
in the wind. >> reporter: trains shook on their tracks. american, marty was near the epicenter in sendai. >> this went on forever. everything was toppling and falling. >> reporter: then came round two, the wave, washing away everything in its path. traveling six miles inland in some place, 24 hours later, people here are still fearing more. 200,000 are living in temporary shelters. there are reports of three missing japanese trains, along with a ship swept away by the waves. fires raging up and down the coast and more than a million households without water. american ryan mcdonald lived through it. and witnessed it all. >> oh, my god. he took this video in sendai as it struck. now he's telling us he's running low on food. >> only thing i have is half a jar of tomato sauce. >> which i'll make that work somehow. >> reporter: even japanese television hosts wear hard hats on the air. meanwhile on the ground and water rescuers continue their race to find more survivors. and when speaking about those rescuers, aus know, it is night time in tokyo. we're several hour as head of you in new york.
Mar 15, 2011 5:30pm PDT
patiently waiting in line. the heart-hit area around sendai is short of just about everything, so people wait in long lines for water, for gas, for food. there's a line over there. there's a line right here. there's another line across the street. this is the new reality in sendai. this man waited 12 hours for gas. these people have waited two hours to buy a limit of ten items each from this store. but no one is complaining. "we can be patient people" she says. "everybody is in the same situation so we don't need to fight about it." the city of sendai has opened 247 emergency shelters, housing more than 70,000 displaced people. this downtown shelter serves 1,500 meals three times a day. everyone chips in. the able bodied unload boxes. the young serve the old. only the very old and very young are duty-free. the united states is chipping in too, under operation tomodachi, or operation friends, 440 sailors and marines are helping japan get utilities back up and running. but most of all, the japanese are caring for each other. this woman and her family have no electricity at home. they huddl
Mar 21, 2011 5:30pm PDT
: finally tonight, americans have watched with horror and sadness the disaster in japan as towns like sendai were devastated. but perhaps no u.s. city was as touched by the disaster as dallas. you see, dallas and sendai have become the best of friends. steve hartman now with tonight's "assignment america." >> reporter: we came here to dallas-- about as far from japan as you can get-- to meet the berries, who are about as asian as apple pie, and do a story about this typical texas family and its very atypical attachment to one japanese community. 50-year-old mark berry says when he saw that tsunami hit the town of sendai it was like watching it roll through his own backyard. >> i see that wave coming through just tearing those houses down, god, that hurts me almost as if i was there. >> reporter: mark got to know the people of sendai because the two towns are international friendship cities. dallas kids go there on exchanges, sendai kids come here. mark is chairman of the committee and has made nine trips to sendai. >> pretty much sure this is all gone. >> reporter: he has toured the local sh
Mar 22, 2011 4:00am PDT
sendai. probably no u.s. city was as touched by the devastation as much as dallas, texas. why? well, that's because sendai and dallas are sister cities. steve hartman has more. >> reporter: we came here to dallas about as far from japan as you can get to meet the berrys who are about as asian as apple pie and do a story about this typical texas family and its very atypical attachment to one japanese community. 50-year-old mark berry says when he saw that tsunami hit the town of sendai, it was like watching it roll through his own backyard. >> i see that wave coming through just tearing those houses down, that hurts me almost as if i was there. >> reporter: mark got to know the people of sendai because the two towns are international friendship cities. dallas kids go there on exchanges, sendai kids come here. mark is chairman of the committee and has made nine trips to sendai. >> pretty much sure this is all gone. >> reporter: he has toured the local shrines and visited local high schools. >> gone? >> gone. >> reporter: in the last week, he's been trying to track down friends in sendai wit
Mar 12, 2011 7:30am EST
of the hardest hit places is near sendai, japan. we have arrived close to the epicenter in the heart of the disaster. anna, if you could, set the scene for us. what are you seeing there? >> reporter: sendai is the closest city to the epicenter, some 130 kilometers away. much of this city has been hit by the tsunami. so far, power and water are out. we are obviously standing in an area with electricity. there are pockets up and running. much of the city is a black-out. i can show you, it is certain what we are witnessing is a devastating scene. a local reporter managed to get out earlier today and said it was a scene of devastation. house after house after house is engulfed by the monster wave that hit the coast at 2:46 p.m. in some parts of this coast, randi, has come some 5 kilometers inland. the damage is quite enormous. in one particular area, 300 bodies were identified. the death toll stands at 900 but it's expected to surpass 1000. they issued a statement a short time ago saying that 700 people are missing. this is a very, very grave situation, randi. it certainly doesn't look g
Mar 14, 2011 10:00pm EDT
. this is sendai not far from us. cars, 18 wheelers swept away. watch. [ screaming ] [ sirens ] >> there's also video of the wall of water in the fishing port of miyago, anything everything washed away. the new death toll more than 2,400 and rising. upwards of 3,000 missing. as we all know by now, those numbers are expected to rise. more than half a million homeless at this hour, factories shut down, rolling blackouts due to power shortages. we also in this two-hour episode have a remarkable reunion which has just occurred. we have been searching for a young american teacher, a number of american -- there's two american teachers we've been looking for. we've been in contact with the parents of a young american teacher named paul fails. his parents, peter and mary have been very concerned about his whereabouts. he's in a town -- he was last seen in a town north of sendai, badly hit, a town called kesennuma. we've made contact with this young american teacher, he's alive and okay. he's going to be reunited with his parents on this program a little later on in this hour. so there's a lot of good n
Mar 14, 2011 11:35pm PDT
. this is sendai. who knows where this house started before the quake, but there it is jammed against the gas station even more grim when you look in the back window and see the baby crib but as bad as all of this is, it's just the tip of the pending looming disaster unfolding right now. already four different nuclear reactors have exploded, caught fire in this country and evacuations have intensified within recent hours. in fact, about 50 miles south of here was the most urgent catastrophe. our own david muir was much closer than we are, about 20 miles from that reactor when it blew and abc wisely ordered him to get out of there as fast as he could and he filed this report just before he left. >> reporter: tonight yap is dealing with yet another explosion at a nuclear reactor, the third one at the fukushima power plant and there are signs tonight that this could be their most dangerous explosion yet. this is the third explosion to rock the fukushima nuclear power plant and comes as japan's government finds itself in a race to avoid a catastrophic meltdown. in the first two explosions the cau
Mar 30, 2011 7:00pm PDT
, getting almost close to 5 degrees here that is. 4.3 in sendai and 6.2 in fukushima. still looking at single digits this morning, and for parts of northern tohoku area we're going to remain in the single digits. 9 for your high in morioka and 7 is expected in aomori. from sendai to the south looking at double digits here but it's going to feel a little bit cooler than yesterday for sure. tokyo, though, coming in at 16 degrees so you are looking at another warm and spring-like day. as for the next couple of days, we will be talking about that unsettled weather for thursday for miyako, sendai and even onahama. miyako a chance of flurries or two developing here. highs only at 7 in miako and double digits for sendai and onahama. changes friday, sunshine and highs rise up to 12 in miyako and sendai and 13 in onahama but the morning lows, so the fluctuations you want to watch out for health issues here. all right, that is a look at your weather conditions for now, and here are some other cities across asia. >>> all right this just coming in to us. japan's nuclear and industrial safety ag
Mar 13, 2011 6:00pm PDT
and suffering in the wake of the earthquake. bill whitaker is in hard-hit sendai near the epicenter of the quake where it is already monday morning. bill, good morning to you. >> reporter: hello, russ. this is a cliche but here so fitting. this looks like a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie, but sadly here it's all too real. sendai, the center of destruction from the earthquake and tsunami, is now the center of suffering and misery. the devastation is breathtaking, wreckage, debris, mud as far as the eye can see. the horror compounded by fires erupting everywhere. this is also the center of the nation's hope for survivors still being pulled from the muck. this woman trapped in a car for 20 hours. earlier, these preschool children and their teacher rescued from the water by soldiers, one by one. this is a nation of survivors. this may look like a lake, but it's actually a main thoroughfare through the city of sendai. people are walking and riding through here, as if lost. this man lost his wife. he is smiling because he just got word she might have ridden out the quake and the tsunami on an upp
Mar 15, 2011 5:30pm PDT
.5 -- 2500. many have had to leave their homes. and in sendai, they have to cope not only with aftershocks, but also the fear of radiation, of course. >> amid the devastation and destruction, a new concern. that is carried with the rain that started falling on sendai. hidden in these drops, could soon be a new danger. tiny particles blanc from the nuclear disaster -- blown from the nuclear disaster. as at this place has not been battered and already -- first the earthquake, then the tsunami, now it's something new to fear. radiation. unlike the previous disasters, you cannot see it or hear it coming. the tsunami you could hear. it did all this. it even dumped a cargo ship high and dry on the key outside. more people fear that if radiation is released and the wind blows this week, the rain could make it fall here. so the tsunami evacuees whose homes were damaged or destroyed are sheltering inside. those on the port of sendai are in this hold. this woman took her children and fled. she said she has been told not to go out in the brain. -- in the rain. she showed us her home. it is relatively
Mar 12, 2011 1:00am EST
're still seeing large tsunamis moving and hitting the area of sendai. that tsunami is going to hit the coastal areas, as we speak. we do not know the extent of the damage at this time, but obviously a huge tsunami. >> within just 30 minutes of the earthquake, the tsunami crashes ashore. >> homes are swallowed in an instant. water roars six miles inland, devouring everything in its path. >> the tsunami has already engulfed some cities, fires breaking out due to the earthquake. >> cars are tossed about. we still don't know if passengers got out before the tsunami hit. just offshore, a giant vortex of ocean currents looks like something from science fiction, but it's all too real. the airport in sendai, closest to the earthquake's epicenter, is now like much of the city, under water. people stranded on its roof. >> it looks like the sendai airport almost completely flooded. >> oil refineries erupt in flames. >> it just blew up! this is crazy! [ explosion ] it happened again. >> two nuclear power plants just 150 miles from tokyo, declare a state of emergency after they lack power to co
Mar 12, 2011 6:00am EST
and the seventh largest worldwide since recordkeeping began. we are going live to sendai, a city near the quake's center. >> we are watching a critical and dangerous situation going on now with two nuclear energy plants damaged by the quake. a small amount of radioactive material escaped into the air. the nuclear agency said there's a strong possibility it indicates the melting of a fuel rod at the plant. a six mile area has been set up. a cooling system at three of the four systems in another plant failed. fixing the problems is a race against time. >> caller: the situation has potential for a nuclear catastrophe it's basically a race against time. plant operators have not been able to cool down the core of at least two reactors which contain enormous amounts of radioactivity because the back-up generators were probably damaged by the tsunami or the earthquake. so, there is a major effort under way to fly in the military helicopters and other power sources to keep the electricity going to allow water to circulate to remove the tremendous amount of heat that built up in the reactor. >>> now sta
Mar 12, 2011 9:30am EST
is in sendai, anna coren is there, as well. plus elise labott is in washington. and josh levs here in our cnn headquarters. we'll get to all those reporters in a moment. >>> but first, amid the heartbreak in japan, residents are following the latest developments on a nuclear plant where an explosion occurred. residents evacuated from a 12-mile zone. but earlier this morning, the prime minister assured it's all merely a precaution. well, one american isn't so convinced, and he says the government has done nothing to build confidence. steven, how are you holding up there? and how is the anxiety level in tokyo? >> well, it varies from person to person. i have not been able to sleep for basically very much since the earthquake hit. we're getting these aftershocks that continue to hit japan and they'll wake you up about every 10 to 15 minutes if you're sensitive to the earthquakes. so, yeah, it tends to make you a little anxious with what's going on. >> and what does it look like on the streets there? >> well, i went out this morning to get kind of a lay of the land. in tokyo -- again, in tokyo, t
Mar 13, 2011 5:00pm PDT
out how to get to the sendai area where the greatest damage is. right now the biggest challenge will be finding transportation for one and having enough gas to get up there and having enough gas to maintain your stay up there. the roads we understand, we haven't seen them of course, the roads are packed going north and south from what we are hearing. at the airport last night, we did see members of the taiwanese search and rescue team in their uniforms. it looked like they had just arrived at the same time we did. it looked like they were getting ready for orders to go up north. the mood here at the hotel, people trying to carry on, but you could tell there is concern. we're hoping to get to the sendai area ourselves either later today or sometime tomorrow. our first objective is to find someone familiar with the area, who knows the lay of the land and can navigate us to that area, becauseit is going to be very, very difficult, diane. >> absolutely. so, george, have you had a chance to talk to any of the locals there? i guess folks even at the airport hotel who live there? >> re
Mar 17, 2011 11:00pm PDT
that we were there just focussed on the earthquake, tsunami and making plans to go up to the sendai area. by monday the story had shifted to the nuclear crisis and the increasing radiation levels. in fact, we still heard about the earthquake and the tsunami, the relief efforts by by in large as hour by hour it was evident that this nuclear radiation situation was becoming the story. >> all right quickly, on your way back, we already in passengers coming through sfo that they were wanded here when they returned home. duexperience that. >> no, i did not. we flew from l.a.x. and then on san jose, never was wanded. >> concerned about radcration for yourself? have you been checked out by a doctor, do you plan to. >> i'm going to check myself out by going to my own personal doctor in the next couple of weeks but i feel okay. i feel sure that what we were told in tokyota the -- even though the levels were more than usual not the level where our health was being put into the a compromised situation. >> george, glad you have back here on solid and safe ground. >> yes, glad to be back. >> that's r
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